Rat Cordery.

People who have small animals know they have a special love for electrical cords. Chez Caine, there are always those rats who are looking to jack on. Part of setting up Athena (the new computing machine), is to deal with cord. For the very fine cord, which runs from the machine to the adapter is a favourite for jacking on. So, that part: slice open black aquarium tubing, place over the cord, secure with electrical tape. This impairs their ability to sense the current running through. For the rest, I cut lengths of cotton cloth, and wrap the cord, followed by a quick wrap of shiny wire, because rats are easily distracted by shiny metal, and will chew on that and forget about jacking on. Got Athena all fixed up, and Hades tested for me – yep, boring. That’s a good thing.





© C. Ford.


  1. says

    Well, if you have to spend hours proofing something, might as well get a bit of satisfaction out of it. :D Just got done with all the speaker wires. Thought that was never going to end.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    Certainly more interesting detail than regular wires. I wonder what makes electrical and/or magnetic fields attractive for rats?

  3. rq says

    I don’t know, but electromagnetic fields seem to have weird effects on some animals.
    Then again, so does my violin-playing, so that’s not saying much.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    A violin is a powerful thing that can be used for good and bad. What kinds of effects, if I may ask? Any differences between playing on A and E strings and G and D strings?

  5. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    The cats go weird: from loud meowling and weaving around my legs, right up to crawling up my body to get to the top. Rubbing their heads against the violin, my hand; rolling around on the floor in something like ecstasy… They don’t just leave the room, which I would imagine they would do if it was an unpleasant sound, but it’s almost like a drug. Like an itch in the brain. It’s really weird. No major differences between strings, except maybe extremely high notes. But those nice middle and lower frequencies were very attractive -- if I could (or had a) cello, I’d try that.
    (Though one of these musical cats also liked to climb into your lap while playing piano, and would get up on the keyboard, but the reaction wasn’t as distinctly behaviour-changing as with the violin.)
    Less experience with dogs, so I can’t speak to that experience.

  6. says

    Ice Swimmer:

    I wonder what makes electrical and/or magnetic fields attractive for rats?

    They get a buzz from it, seriously. It’s some sort of high, and for some rats, it’s seriously addictive. I had the opportunity to watch Chas once. He got up on my desk, wandered around a bit, then circled my laptop several times, stopping where the power cord plugs into the laptop. Laid his head on the jack, started rubbing like crazy, then bit it, and would have chewed until he hit wire if I hadn’t been there. Outside of that, I think there’s also some great tooth feel to electrical cords for a lot of small animals, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc.

  7. Ice Swimmer says

    Yeah, I’ve stripped telephone wire with my teeth, but it never felt anything special.

    I vaguely remember some stories (from 30 -- 35 years ago) of rats chewing the wiring of an alarm system of a grocery store and causing false alarms.

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